Brandon Lloyd was targeted once on Sunday in Miami. He made a 10-yard catch along the left sideline, diving out of bounds and keeping his lower body in bounds to make sure it was a completion.
It moved the Patriots down to Miami's 18-yard line in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, and gave them a first down on a drive that ended up being the difference-maker in Sunday's win over the Dolphins.
So, while it was only one catch, it was a big one.
Still, only one target -- and that target not coming until late in the fourth -- will raise eyebrows. But Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels tried to explain the situation in a conference call on Monday, defending Lloyd and calling his production against Miami a function of what the defense was giving them.
"I think that's really a function of a lot of things," said McDaniels, when asked about Lloyd. "Brandon certainly played hard and has played hard all year. There's been games where we've targeted him a lot. And then there's been other games where, based on the way somebody may play us, we target him less, and the ball goes somewhere else.
"So I think Brandon should just keep doing his job, and trying to execute his assignments well. We've never been a team that likes to force the ball to one person or another, although it may seem like that at times, because certain players get targeted more in certain games, but really, the biggest emphasis point we try to make to our group, is to try to find the guy who's open, or who the defense doesn't take away and give them the football. And Tom usually does a good job of that. Yesterday, Lloyd certainly didn't have a lot of action in the passing game, but hopefully that will change, or could change based on the way we get defended.
"He's done a good job of running good routes and getting open, and being available when his opportunities present themselves," added McDaniels. "And he'll continue to do that that, I know him. And hopefully we call things that give him an opportunity to get the ball. When that's really when we should go with it, hopefully Tom finds him, and we connect."